Friday, February 16, 2007

Schmooze Train-ing

I work in a campus that is about 20 minutes away from the one I study in. I usually take the train from one to the other. Trains are the loveliest modes of transportation in the universe just because of the fact that they contain people from all stations in life (pun intended). For example, once I sat next to a person who was humming to himself and writing music. I didn't talk to him but it made me very happy to know that people like that exist, outside of the movies.
And the station I aboard from is extremely pretty (it's Pleasantville after all). There is a waiting-room upstairs with bright metal chairs, that are intricately carved to look like regular furniture. I mean a sofa, a small coffee table, and a book lying upside-down- all metal- it's hard and cold on your bottom if you try to sit on it when it's three degrees outside, but well it's pleasing to the eye.
Anyway, I was standing in this waiting-room when a well-dressed black man comes up to me and asks which track the train going to New York City arrived on. I point it out to him with my right thumb. He then asks the time the train would arrive. 4:43 I reply (and it does, each and every time, except during this snowstorm).
We drift apart and we wait.
When it's 4:40, I climb down the stairs and stand on the platform. He comes and stands next to me.
"Are you in high-school?" He asks.
"No, college" I say.
"Really, what are you majoring in?"
"Uh, finance"
"Get outta here. Really?"
Smiling. "Well. Yeah."
"I myself work in a small financial firm in Manhattan."
"Wow." (for the Manhattan part, not the 'small financial firm')
"Yeah, so, what is your goal?"
There it was the golden, unrelenting question. But this time I couldn't just shrug like I do whenever my dad asks me the same question. I had to deliver pithy sentences with ideas and motivation crammed in so that it was as hard as constipated goat-droppings. The trouble is I never had any goal. Ever. Not for 10 years hence. Not for tomorrow. Not for tonight's dinner. I don't even wanna be in finance. Indeed, taking my recent activities into account, you'd think that I'm more interested in the stalk-market.
"Well, in the long run, I'd like to do CFA and handle personal portfolios for clients. My short-term goal is to get the feel for corporate finance and figure how they work." I said, shocking even me. Trouble was I didn't even know what CFA stood for, I just remember some guy talking about it. Times like this, I wish I had a Blackberry, just so that I could check Wikipedia on the go.
Thankfully, he seems pleased with the answer and starts talking about his own work and firm. Something to do with retirement plans, 401-K's and all that good stuff.
By this time, the train arrives and we sit together. He opens his briefcase and gives me his card, tells me that they hire interns if I ever thought of doing an internship. Then he shows me his firm's brochure. Now, listening I can do. That's my core-competency. And so I listened.
My station arrived and I got off. Reeling under the pressure of having met a person who actually worked on Wall Street.
Ah... public transport.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It Being V-Day and all.

While everything appeared calm on the surface of this blog for a couple of days. Heated discussions were going on in the underbelly. Choice of words, intentions, revenge, were being talked of.
Yes, exalted readership, the saga of "The Girl Three-States-Away" continues. Hopefully, this is the season finale.
Anyway, on the abovelinked post, She posted a comment. Now her very arrival on this blog is material enough for a post. I understand, it's got something to do with bookmarks.

This is what she commented "youre SO wrong. and its really unfair the way youve twisted this in your sorry favor. you refuse to think of how much I would miss our entretiens. you DELETE me from everything. that was a sweet thing to do. i would not have even stumbled on to this page if it wrent for my Periodical Review of Bookmarks. the nerve."
I'm fully aware that having her comments posted on the main blog like this is like parading her around. Since, I've been called flawed, this post shall not be yet another rant. I'll instead focus on the ultimate good times we had together and tell you why cherish her. Even though, she may never read it, this is my public apology. And the final bouquet. Sothere style.

Dear GTSA;
You think I don't miss you? Whom am I going to tell all the fascinating things to, which others don't give a crap for?
You were there for me in those darkest of dark hours. Now when I'm out in the sunshine (winter sunshine... our own little private joke) I don't have anyone to share it with.
Don't be hard on yourself that all this went horribly wrong. Like that cliche, we were never made for each other- even though I always believed that one makes themselves for the other, I guess it's only this far that we can go.
You really were special.
I'll think of you often, and always with tenderness.
I'll miss you always.

(I hope you manage to) love,

P.S: Relationships are to use your own analogy, like a heckuva roller-coaster ride. I had immense fun, but I'm glad it's over and hell or high-water or Elizabeth Hurley, for that matter, wouldn't make me want to do it again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Does Caitlin Roran ring a bell?

If you have used Gmail Caitlin Roran should seem familiar. If you don't use gmail, you have no clue what you're missing. Anyway. Caitlin Roran is the person who appears on the cell-phone image on the left hand corner of the gmail page. Someone wrote a wikipedia article about her(?), but it was deleted. An awesome read.

"Caitlin Roran is a fictional character (or advertising character) devised as part of a Google advertising campaign. The ad was created to promote Google's Gmail service and its availability via mobile phone. Caitlin's name appears as having sent the second email from the top dated September 13 regarding a surprise party.

The surname Roran seems extremely rare in the United States and may be nonexistent outside this ad.

However the ad has been seen by enough Gmail subscribers that a Google search for the name will turn up at least one Web site dedicated to keeping track of these searches.

Caitlin's e-mail appears in bold typeface, and is thus yet to be opened by the owner of the phone. The email at the top of the phone's display, from Buck regarding a recent trip to Hawaii, is also bold and thus unread. Buck's message also appears to have a file (or files) attached (presumably pictures from Hawaii, but possibly some other type of file).

It has been suggested that Caitlin does not represent a real person but is a name attached to a spam message. Buck's message is under similar suspicion. The messages from Susan (third position from the top) and Nathan (fourth from the top) seem less likely to be spam, as their subject headings are less typical of computer-generated spam subject headings.

It's not clear if the recipient of Caitlin's email is the organizer of the "surprise party" or is one of the guests. It is also possible that the recipient is the party's honoree and is being informed of the secret plans -- though, for what purpose is unclear.

According to one theory, Nathan, whose name appears next to the message "BBQ on Saturday," is the party planner and the party is to honor Buck, the author of the simulated email about having just gotten back from Hawaii. The owner of the phone possibly is Buck's best friend and the boyfriend of Susan, who is trying to make plans to have sushi.

If the owner of the phone is female, however, the sushi plan suggestion is more difficult to interpret.

Another question that has been raised about this ad is whether the "BBQ on Saturday" might happen to be on the same day as the "Surprise party." No day of the week is given for the surprise party, giving rise to the possibility that Caitlin's and Nathan's mutual friend (the owner of the phone) could have a conflict between the two events. Of course, even if they were on the same day, they could be at different times, which would solve the problem.

It's also noted that the owner of the phone responded to Buck's e-mail about his return from Hawaii and to Susan's message about plans for sushi but ignored the messages about the BBQ and the surprise party. One could assume that the latter two messages were sent to a mass list of guests and did not require responses. Or perhaps the person has not responded to either message because both events are scheduled for the same time (presumably in the afternoon of September 16, 2006) and the person has not decided which one to attend.

The interface shows only two unread messages, a sign that the phone belongs to a person who has recently signed up for Gmail.

Judging by the content of the messages, the owner of the phone is likely between 20 and 40 years old and has at least a moderate amount of disposable income and leisure time. There is no evidence that the person is employed or has any interests other than planning events.

Judging by the month (September), the event (BBQ), and Buck's travel destination (Hawaii), the owner of the phone likely lives in Southern California, where an email advertising a fall bar-b-que would be so ordinary as to merit no response.

The tentative nature of the sushi plans with Susan also suggests that Susan is likely the significant other or close friend of the phone's owner, or at least someone with whom the phone owner socializes frequently enough to make spontaneous plan making possible.